Is the saying, “Whoever adheres to my Practices when my Community is corrupted shall receive the reward of a hundred martyrs.” a hadith and how should it be understood?

Yes, these statements are hadith. (1)

A person can receive the reward of a hundred martyrs in a time when bid’ahs (innovations) and aberrations invade the Islamic community and overrule the society.

Of course, the truths of the Qur’an and the principles of the Sunnah are not separated from one another. The time when bid’ahs are in great request among the ummah and the majority of people are invaded by bid’ahs and aberrations is so risky and dangerous.

As danger increases in a deed, its reward increases, too. In such a dangerous time, first and foremost, spreading the truths of belief, the Islamic principles and causing the Qur’an to be understood and integrating the Sunnah and Islam into life is a great service. Under normal circumstances, this demands a self-sacrifice more than a martyr does so that it can gain the reward of many martyrs.

Because while a martyr dies in the way of God by showing a sacrifice at one moment, a person who is working for the truths of belief, the Qur’an and Sunnah of the prophet (PBUH) can sacrifice great things at every day of his life in such an atmosphere.

So it is understood that as the time gets worse, fitna (mischief) increases, the rewards of deeds increase, too. Besides, there is an encouragement for performing a single sunnah in this glorious hadith.

The word tamassuk (adhering to the Sunnah) used in the hadith contains the following meanings: (2)

1- ) It means determination, perseverance and insistence: It describes determination in adherence, perseverance and insistence. There are such people in the time of corruption of the ummah that they maintain the positive behavior with determination and perseverance and show their commitment to the Sunnah of the prophet (PBUH) and principles of the Qur’an. They risk all of the things in this way. This meaning is included in the root of tamassuk “msk” and its derivatives.

2- ) There is continuation in tamassuk (adhering to the Sunnah). Besides, determination, insistence and perseverance requires persistence. When the meanings of the verb are examined, persistence is seen in all of them. Grasping of something without releasing requires constant grasping. Preserving means constant protection. So a deed that gains the reward of a hundred martyr requires constancy, patience, determination and sacrificing one’s life in the way of Qur’an and Sunnah, which are not separated from one another.

3- ) Tamassuk (adhering to the Sunnah) indicates the protection of the “whole”. Grasping of something for the purpose of not releasing is possible through acquiring and keeping the whole of what is acquired, just like catching a person. Keeping the mouth shut means avoiding talking entirely. It does not mean to talk a bit and to remain silent and not to talk. The Arabic word of imsak which means refraining is like to give up eating, avoiding sexual intercourse and refraining from all.

So during the corruption of the ummah, adhering to the Sunnah of the prophet (PBUH) is a kind of adhering which concerns the whole and general and is intended to support and to keep it alive. This means adhering all aspects of Islam, the Qur’an and the Sunnah, not leaving them and a struggling to keep them alive. Generally, there are few people to do this in the time of the corruption of the ummah. And it is also clear that this is difficult. For this reason, the reward of it is so great.

4- ) Tamassuk (adhering to the Sunnah) reflects the struggle of mutual powers: In the root of msk and tamassuk, there is a mutual struggle and the resistance and opposition between two powers. The words imsak, imtisak, tamassuk and mask express not leaving something but holding it for the purpose of not releasing.  Here, the party that bears the brunt is the one that grasps it and not leaves it. The pary that is grasped does not surrender easily. It wants to get rid of this grasp and be free.

For instance, in the deed of holding or preventing the tongues from speaking expressed by the root msk, the tongue tries to talk but is beaten by the power that prevents it in this struggle. When the conflict in the root msk is thought of from the viewpoint of the hadith, “Whoever adheres to my Sunnah…”, it expresses a constant struggle and effort to maintain and protect the Sunnah.  

References:

1. al-Baghawi, Husayin b. Muhammad ash-Shafi, Masabihu’s-Sunna, I-II, Beirut, nd. I, 40, no: 130; al-Munawi, Abdurra‘uf, Faydu’l-Qadir, I-WI, Beirut, nd. WI, 261. (no: 9171-9172); For the issue of rewards’ increasing when the ummah corrupts, see Taftazani, Masud b. Umar, Sharhu’l-Maqasid, I-W, Beirut 1988 I, 308; al-Haythami, Ahmad b. Hajar, as-Sawaiqu’l-Muhriqa, Cairo 1385, p. 210.

2. al-Qamusu’l-Muhit III, 329; al-Mu’jamu’l-Wasit p. 869; al-Mufradat, p,469.

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